ARLINGTON, Va. (BRAIN) — Trek Bicycle has acquired Revolution Cycles, a four-store chain with locations in Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Virginia; Rockville, Maryland; and Stafford, Virginia. Mike Hamannwright opened the first location in Georgetown in 1998 and grew it to be one of the major retailers in the mid-Atlantic market. He was also a top Trek dealer in the U.S. Hamannwright operated two of his stores as Trek Concept Stores at one point.
According to retailers in the D.C. market, Revolution Cycles had been on the block for some time. Hamannwright, who's no longer part of the business, could not be reached for comment on this report.
"Trek has acquired Revolution Cycles in D.C. Our overall strategy ... has not changed and we have no plans to open or acquire stores in markets where we are well represented by competent and committed Trek retailers," said a company spokesperson.
"In markets where we have a low market share and cannot find a viable solution or have a committed retailer looking for an exit solution, such as the case with Revolution, we are open to the idea of Trek management and ownership," he said.
Trek currently owns 12 stores in the U.S. Shops were acquired under various circumstances including stores that were experiencing financial and operational difficulties or where storeowners planned to close for good or retire from the business.
Trek dealers in the market had mixed feelings about competing with their supplier for sales. But most said they saw the move as a way for Trek to maintain its distribution in a key market.
"I'm excited to see that a company the size of Trek believes in brick and mortar enough to invest in it," said Steve Ruck, owner of Bike Doctor, which operates seven brick-and-mortar stores in Maryland. Three are franchises and four are owned by him. Bike Doctor carries Trek, among other brands.
"The rumor mill is that bike shops are going away, but the flip side is if Trek is investing in brick and mortar that sends me a signal otherwise. I'd rather have a good retailer in the area that's there to make a profit and give good service than a bad one down the street who's driving customers to the internet," he added.
Jim Strang, owner of Spokes Etc. with five stores in Northern Virginia, is another longtime Trek dealer. Strang said he wasn't upset or happy about the ownership change.
"Trek has always been pro-retailer and I think they will continue to be pro-retailer," Strang said. "Assuming they operate like Mike was operating, I have no issue. Trek has always been supportive of retailers. I don't see it as a game changer."
Another large retailer in the market, Race Pace Bicycles, with five stores in Maryland, also carries Trek, along with Cannondale, Scott, Felt and a few other brands. Owner Alex Obriecht said he has been a Trek dealer since 1980 and isn't particularly enthusiastic about being in competition with his supplier.
"I'm not happy. But I'm engaging in conversations with Trek," Obriecht said. "But I do want to say that I recognize why wholesale distributors take this step. I understand it. If you can't get a brand in front of a consumer, what is your solution? They perceive this as a simple solution.
"I anticipate them being a fair competitor," he added.